Go Home
Oregon Journaling
Sept. 9, 2002 -
April 21, 2003
These are journal entries written during my first stay in Oregon (besides what's included in the picture pages listed on the right).

Journal Updates


Columbia, SC
Blue Ridge Parkway
Computer Crash!

2005 - 2006
Happy New Year
Hawk's Message
I'm Published!
Sharing Spring
Ways of Writing
Edmonds, WA
Degenerate Neck
Desert Depression
Post Quartzsite
Grandma Malia

2003 - 2004
Alaska Planning
Alaska 1
Alaska 2
Alaska 3
Alaska 4
Alaska 5
Alaska 6
Alaska 7
BC & Alberta
To Lower 48
2004 Recap
Giving Thanks

2001 - 2002
Inspiration's Off!
To Charleston
N. Carolina
To Orlando
Florida Tour
Back in Austin
Albuq. to WA

Malia's RV
Oregon Pages


Oregon Home

Covered Bridges
of Linn County

White Christmas

Eugene Weekend

Troutdale Times

Mt. Hood Railroad

Seaside Castles

Mosier Tunnels


Silver Falls



Lake Creek

Portland Thanksgiving

Later Years

Malia's Miles


September 9, 2002 - Arrived in Portland

We had planned to save money by taking advantage of WalMart's renown hospitality to RVers so that we could check out the list of possible parks for our winter home. However, it was part of a mall and could not allow us to park overnight there. We spent the night and too much money at a rather sad little park (Town & Country RV) that had been on our list, after which we scratched it off. Across the street, however, is a Home Depot with a large parking lot and a manager who agreed to let us park there. We spent yesterday afternoon and this morning looking at every advertised RV park within commuting distance of Portland and/or Vancouver.

September 15, 2002

We went to the big fall RV show in Portland today and saw models running in the million dollar range and I still didn't see one I'd trade for. Those chrome and mirrored low riders seem cold and impersonal and are not nearly as maneuverable as mine. I've never been more happy with my home or my lifestyle, even though tomorrow is Monday and the job hunt begins!

September 16, 2002 - Fruit Loop

Today the weather was simply just too perfect to spend it job hunting, which I had promised myself I would do now that I'm settled down again. I still really love this RV park and the whole area we're in, but I'm told that it's very cold and windy here during the winter. I use that as justification to give in to the temptation of getting outside and enjoying the glorious warm days and cool starry nights we're having now. So it's manana for the job hunt - today was meant for going to Mt. Hood - every inch of the impressive mountain was visible, not a cloud around and the crystal blue sky framed it perfectly. We had lunch staring at him through the huge picture window at the historic and picturesque lodge. Then we hiked around him a while before taking off to drive the "Fruit Loop" - an area filled with orchards and farms you can visit and buy truly farm fresh fruit that you can pick yourself or have the farmer bag it for you. We got some fantastic apples, pears, berries and fresh apple cider - what fun!

September 17, 2002 - Seeking Employment

OK, OK, I can't put this off any longer, dimmit! I spent this beautiful sunny day passing out my resumes to about a dozen lawyers in Gresham, the largest small town close by the tiny town of Troutdale that is my current home. Gresham also has a cute little downtown Main Street with quaintly designed shops, but it also has a regular business district with a Wal Mart, which is the true sign of civilization to us. Don's upset that there are no Sam's in the entire state of Oregon since he's one of those "I like to buy cheap in massive quantities" fanatics.Anyway, since I have to work, it would be nice to work there - I could avoid all highways and even in peak traffic only takes about 20 minutes to get there. Even though I know that the most likely scenario is that I'll end up working in downtown Portland, I thought it was worth a shot to try to dodge the nightmare of rush hour traffic. It's funny that everywhere you go, people think they have the worst possible traffic and I've found it doesn't matter who gets the "honor" of being the #1 traffic nightmare, it's all the same when you're stuck swallowing exhaust fumes after spending the day somewhere you'd rather not be anyway. Boy, do I have a sucky attitude about work or what???

October 16, 2002 - Multnomah Falls

The weather has been a lot better this week, so while it's made it more difficult to go to work it's been nice to be able to play again on the weekends. Last Saturday we went to one of the big events around here - the annual Salmon Festival at nearby Oxbow Park. It was pretty nice to walk by the river, although the only fish we saw were dead ones. But I always enjoy a fair-like atmosphere, checking out the vendors while listening to live native American flute music.Sunday we went back to Multnomah Falls and had a fortifying Sunday brunch at the Falls Lodge. After that we needed some digestive time out, so we drove further down the gorge, crossed a little singing bridge over onto the Washington side of the river's boundary, and drove along its banks to see it from their perspective. We stopped and watched a few wind surfers and kiters as we crossed back over into Oregon on the Bridge of the Gods. Then it was back to the falls for a mile hike up a very steep, narrow switchback trail to its 620 foot top. I'm not even going to talk about how out of shape that proved to me I am! But I was determined to prove to myself I could make it, so I persevered despite having to stop to rest so often I was embarrassed, especially when a little teeny bopper went jogging by, both uphill and then again on the way down. On the way up my heart struggled and on the way down my knees screamed. God, I hate starting to sound like an old lady reciting her list of aches and pains! And to top it all off, the view from the top of the falls can't compare to looking up at the water cascading in ever changing patterns or feeling the cool delicate mist that is generated by its merging with the bottom pool. Then as it flows out to its further destinations, it becomes what seems to be a trickle compared to the power of it in the falling-from-high state. So I don't think I'll be doing that trip again - once was definitely enough for such a meager return.The trees are really starting to change their colors now and I'm looking forward to a train ride we have booked next weekend to chug through them. I've never lived anywhere before that had any significant change of tree color and it's been interesting to compare the differences between this Portland and last year's Portland. Here it's been less dramatic and the trees seem to start changing at their outside tips and then the color works its way in. So there are trees that look like some of my old kindergarten coloring books when the height of my artistic abilities was to outline the pictures in a darker or contrasting color. Anyway, there's a lot more yellow than red so far, and I'm really enjoying the fall here. The only thing I don't like about Oregon is that they won't let you pump your own gas - all the stations are full service. I've asked at several places why that is and have been told different stories every time. Me being the world's most impatient person doesn't appreciate having to wait for someone else to pump my gas and then wait again to pay, but I tell myself that unwanted "service" of Oregon is offset by the fact that this state doesn't have any sales tax. I get a kick out of going to the store and actually paying just the price listed. Yea Oregon!

October 20, 2002 - Oregon City

Last week we went to Oregon City to visit the official end of the Oregon Trail museum and interpretive center. I always enjoy those kinds of presentations - they showed you what kinds of wagons were used, the provisions needed and their cost and the kinds of details you generally don't think of because we're so used to modern conveniences. It was very interesting to think of almost 400,000 people during that great emigration period enduring the hardships necessary to move to an unknown territory and start a new life.One amusing thing brought that in focus when we saw the presentation about things the pioneers had to leave behind because of weight, size, etc. There was a school class of pre-teens in our group tour. During one re-enactment, a woman was unhappy because she couldn't bring her big heirloom bed. One kid asked if they brought along things like the iron stove that was on display and another boy chimed in, "No, that's too heavy - they could just buy another one when they got where they were going."We laughed because we realized that even after the history lesson, he really didn't totally get that these people were not going to find a Wal-Mart at the end of the trail - they were the first people there and had to be totally self-sufficient upon arrival. He just hadn't grasped that concept and I realized how foreign that idea is to our modern culture who can find anything we want within relatively easy commuting distance. That's even harder to get your mind around when you realize that it was less than 200 years ago and now the hardest thing to imagine is any land left unexplored.

November 23, 2002

I'm so glad next week is a short work-week. This week went by excruciatingly slow because I'm working on a project that is generously described as tedious and boring. I keep telling myself I shouldn't bitch about getting paid good money to do mindless work, but here I go bitching anyway. But I'm thankful, also - we're having Thanksgiving dinner at McMenimins, one of the local vineyards and nice restaurant nearby and we're thinking about taking a short trip that long weekend depending on the mood at the time.

December 27, 2002

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last wrote in my journal. It seems when I'm living my "routine" life, working and not sightseeing much, I tend to forget to write - like what I do if I'm not traveling is not worth documenting or something. But I think about it when I start getting emails from friends wondering where I am and if I'm OK because they haven't heard from me - it's nice to be missed, and it gives me a chance to remember what I'm doing and count my blessings at the same time.As for work, Davis, Wright, Tremaine made me an offer to stay that I couldn't refuse. After preliminary research as to what all is going to be involved getting me to Alaska, time and money-wise, it's a very good thing to be guaranteed regular work virtually until I decide to leave. I'm so glad I didn't listen to the negative things I heard about Portland from people I talked to in Washington. So I finally have a pretty clear idea of what I'm going to do through the summer. At this point I figure on leaving here in May, taking about a month to get to Anchorage. I want to take my time and see Vancouver and other parts of Canada and I've also been advised that while the roads are paved, it's best to plan on going slow through Alaska. So if I get up there in June I can spend that month playing around, check to see how finances are going, and then work July and August as necessary. Campgrounds are a whole lot more expensive there, so there's no way I can get by without working. Pictures I've seen of downtown Anchorage have convinced me, though, that if I have to work, that's a beautiful place to be in. The office is right on the water and massive majestic mountains loom close on the other side. And as much as I gripe about having to work, I always enjoy walking around during lunch hours and exploring my new "home" towns, and getting to know the people I work with. I've already started communicating with some women RV'ers who live there, and it's nice to have that kind of contact - the "been there, done that" kind. That's one of major advantages of the internet - something I didn't have when I moved to Hawaii -- boy, does that make me feel old - that's as bad as remembering when there was only black & white TV.... "Yes, Caitlin, your grandma lived during a time when the only "instant messages" were when school called mom whenever I skipped school." "REALLY, grandma ??? - you must be ancient!!!"Speaking of Hawaii, sometimes it's seems absolutely unbelievable that it's been over 11 years since I left Maui. I loved almost everything there was about living there those 3 years and I have always had a preference and passion for the tropical - never in a million years did I ever think of going someplace cold, like Alaska. So it's great to have an unexpected dream and to be able to fulfill it. I am so excited at what I've been reading about Alaska - the imposing mountains, the wildlife, that seeing bald eagles wing through the skies there is routine, the vastness and special unique blue color of the glaciers, taking the ferry into towns where roads are not possible, taking the train to Denali National Park and seeing Mt. McKinley in person - all those images are keeping me up at night with anticipation.

Copyright by Malia Lane - all rights reserved